I am currently writing a reseach project for a scientific initiation and my idea would be a literature review identifying all empirical physiological and anatomical evidence for the presence and characteristics of a specific neural circuit in different animals, and possibly come up with insights about the development of said neural circuit during evolutionary history. My problem would be: which criteria should I use for choosing the animals to research? My focus would be to find the highest ammount of evidence possible for the presence or absence and development of this neural network across the evolutionary tree, so I was thinking about choosing animals that could represent certain taxons and also ones that have been extensively studied before; I wish to include both vertebrates and invertebrates such as mollusks to investigate the possibility of convergent evolution. My main problem is that I am a medicine student and although having some prior experience in neuroscience research, I have no formal experience in evolutionary biology. So I accept book recommendations as well as scientific papers on the topic that would help me. I also accept feedback on my idea, what do you guys think, is it too broad of a topic, too ambitious? I would have a year to complete the research and try to publish it as a paper, and the advisor I wish will help me is specialized in comparative animal neurobiology. But first I need to write a good project.

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What "specific neural circuit" do you have in mind? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 13, 2022 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest starting with a relatively simple neural system that is very well characterized; the obvious suggestion would be C. elegans. It's not clear to me why you would need invert/vert both, you will probably see significant relatively interpretable variation (including convergence) even in related worms. One might consult e.g. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748829. How workable all of this is depends heavily on your answer to Bryan's question. $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2022 at 0:50


You must log in to answer this question.